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Old September 7, 2008   #10
Zana's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Southwestern Ontario, Canada
Posts: 4,481

Morning all...not sure if I'm awake or not yet...let alone coherent enuff to type something, but here goes.

I'm saving seeds from everything that I took that was already cut up from yesterday. That's on the agenda for today. So if you pm with your snail mail addy, I'll make sure that you get some, Hilde. That goes for pretty much anybody else. I probably took home something of almost 2/3's of what was many "new" ones to me...but I'm a neophyte when it comes to collecting varieties. Last years collecting doubled my collection to about 60 This year I came prepared with baggies and a sharpie...heeheehee. And I think I can say I've doubled my collection again. LOL Thanks one and all.

As for the Baklava you really want to go to the hassle of making the dough, Hilde? LOL Actually you can buy phyllo dough fairly easily in grocery stores up here, would assume its the same in the States, these days. Before you get shocked, that tray took 3 lbs of unsalted butter and about 1.5 lbs of walnut crumbs (make sure they're fresh with no black pieces - tastes better) and about 5lbs of phyllo dough. And that was before baking.

The syrup is made from spring water, granulated white sugar, honey. I forgot to put cinnamon in the syrup, but as you can see it was still good without it.

Make sure that you precut the layered baklava before you bake it. It would be nigh on impossible to do after baking. It helps considerably if your knife is extremely sharp - less tearing of the delicate dough.

After baking until brown in a 350F oven. Remove from oven and remove 2 corner pieces and tilt the tray gently to allow excess butter to drain out. The more you remove the better and less greasy tasting the baklava will be.

Now self critiquing the batch from yesterday, I'd say I put way too much syrup on it. You need to make the syrup while the baklava is in the oven, so that its ready when you've finished draining the butter. While both the syrup and baklava are still hot, pour the syrup over the baklava and let sit for about 5-10 minutes and then drain off the excess. Yesterday I was loading the car while that was sitting, and when I came back the baklava had wicked up all the syrup - even if it was too much syrup. Too much syrup equates to soggy phyllo. Still tastes good, but not as "crispy".

I suppose I could run a "baklava" class at next year's event. LOL

I'm thinking I need to go back to bed. When I got home, my father informed me that my bro had broken down on his way to his gig near Milton last night and had called me for help. I obviously was still on Grand Island about 8pm, so was unable to do so. So he got my other bro to come and meet him and take him to the gig. He called just as I was going to bed to tell me that he was wrapping up the gig and little bro was on his way with a can of gas, incase that was the prob. But if it wasn't, would I be on tap with the CAA (AAA for those in the States - just the Canadian version) if it needed to be towed back to KW. Thankfully he called to say all seemed to be ok, and he was on his way home, but might still need assistance if something else happened, as little bro was headed back to Toronto in the other direction. Told me to sleep light....sheeeeesh....just what I needed. So I think now that I've fed the dog, read my email, posted the basis of the baklava recipe, I'm going to crawl back into bed. My sinuses seem to have become stuffed overnight. So I hope I didn't spread that to everybody yesterday.

Once again, thanks for all everybody did yesterday. I wish I'd been able to get over to Mark's place to swap some more seeds too, but Tar-jay and Tops were on the agenda.

I think the amazing thing to little ol' moi is that the vast majority of the varieties this year were different than last year. I'll post a full list of the seeds as I finish processing them later today. I'll be doing the oxyclean thing. Ciao a tutti!

Oh yeah....before I forget. Remy you need to confirm that the weekend of the 17th/18th of October is okay for your crew to join us for Oktoberfest. Mark, you still weren't sure, but you have yr tix, so let me know. Marcia, you had to do some checking I believe, and Remy knows where and how to get ahold of me so that I can set tix aside for you. Anybody else wanting tix, let me know. However, both those nights tend to be sold out at our "little" Festhalle. We usually end up processing about 2300 people through the gate each of those nights, so don't wait too long to make up your minds. For those that need reminding Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest runs from Friday, October 10th to Saturday, October 18th, 2008. Hope to see you there!
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